Read John 17:1-26.
When I was in high school, I went to see a physical therapist for severe headaches. I had been experiencing these headaches for years and was desperate for relief. As soon as I went in to be evaluated by my physical therapist, she said to me, “I know why you have headaches! Your legs are out of alignment, so right now one is longer than the other. As strange as this may sound, this is the cause of your headache.” As soon as she helped me realign my legs, my headaches instantly stopped. I learned a valuable lesson that day: When one part of the body is out of alignment, the entire body feels it and suffers. Jesus knew this, as well. That is why, right before His death, the unity of future believers, also referred to as the Body of Christ, was one of His chief concerns.
In His last moments before His arrest and ultimate death, Jesus spent time praying to God the Father. Instead of hiding from His enemies who wanted to kill Him, coming up with a plan to prove His innocence in light of His impending arrest, or gathering all of His favorite people to spend a few last minutes with them, He got by Himself and prayed. John 17 actually tells us exactly what He prayed for at this time.
He prayed that God the Father would be glorified through Him (verse one). Next, He prayed for God’s protection over His disciples from Satan (verse 15). He declared to God that He was sending them into the world in His absence (verse 18). These men would carry on His mission when He was no longer in the world. Not only did Jesus pray for His disciples, but He also prayed for everyone who would ever believe in Him. This means He prayed for you on that night! Did you know you were on His mind as He was anticipating His impending arrest and death on a cross? He prayed for unity among future believers. He wanted those who would follow Him to be unified just as God the Father and He are one. He prayed this because He knew that all believers would suffer when they are not unified.
As followers of Christ, we get to be a part of preserving the unity and making sure that the Body of Christ is in alignment. The way we experience unity is by going to church and having conversations with other Christians. Whenever we interact with other Christians, our immediate question should be, “How can I preserve the unity of believers throughout our interaction?” Will you commit to keeping the unity among Christians today?
To help keep the unity among followers of Christ, make plans this weekend to attend one of our church services this weekend. When you attend, meet the other people sitting around you. We also encourage you to join a small group where you will be able to be a part of a close-knit Christian community. In doing these things, you are building relationships with other Christians and strengthening the unity of the Body of Christ.
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